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Things to Ask Vet Tech Schools

By now you probably have determined which veterinarian credential that you wish to obtain, and if you intend to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Lakes AK area as well as across the Country, you should ask some relevant questions in order to fine tune your list of options. As we pointed out in our introduction, many potential students start by prioritizing location and tuition expense. But we have previously touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance accreditation and internship programs. And obviously you need to enroll in a program that offers the specialty and degree that you are interested in. These and other factors are covered in the checklist of questions that you should ask the veterinary technician schools that you are reviewing.

Is the Vet Program Accredited?  It's important that you make sure that the vet tech program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization. As earlier mentioned, one of the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a rigorous screening process that verifies you will obtain a superior education. Also, accreditation is necessary if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. And finally, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is in many cases a precondition for employment for a number of Lakes AK area veterinarian practices and hospitals.

What is the College's Reputation?  The vet trade school or college and program you enroll in should have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for testimonials from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alaska school licensing authority if there have been any complaints or violations involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, phone some Lakes AK veterinarians that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think of your school selections. They may even suggest some schools not on your list.

Are there Internship Programs?  The best means to obtain practical hands on experience as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Find out if the schools you are considering have internship programs established with Lakes AK veterinarians, vet hospitals or practices. The majority of veterinary medicine programs mandate clinical training and a large number provide it through internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship may also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and help in the search for employment after graduation.

Is Job Assistance Provided?  Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician college can be challenging without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may mean that the instructors were unqualified to teach the course of study or that some students were unhappy with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the colleges have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate could signify that the school has an outstanding reputation within the Lakes AK vet community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might mean that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job assistance program is a failure at placing students.

How Big are the Classes?  If the classes are larger, you probably will receive little or no personalized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lakes AK schools you are considering what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also decide to attend a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and instructors. Ask for evaluations from students relating to the quality of instruction. Also, speak with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.

Where is the College Located?  Yes, we already discussed location, but there are several more points to make on the subject. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Lakes AK home, you have to make certain that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, especially if the college is located near or in a larger city. In addition, if you do decide to enroll in a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs especially for community and state colleges. On the other hand, attending online classes might be an option that will provide you with more flexibility and minimize the necessity for travel.

Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule?  And last, it's imperative that you find out if the veterinary programs you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate your schedule. For example, many students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Lakes AK. Others may only be able to attend class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available before enrolling. Also, find out if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of sickness, work or family responsibilities. You might find that an online college is the best way to fit your vet education into your hectic life.

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